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2022 NFL Preview: Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts look to shake off a decent but ultimately lackluster 2021 season that saw them finish second in the AFC South at 9-8. They failed to qualify for the playoffs despite having one of the best offensive talents in the NFL in running back Jonathan Taylor. Carson Wentz is gone, and the defense received a few upgrades in what should prove to be an exciting season for the Colts.

Indianapolis Colts Odds

  • To win AFC South | -135
  • To win AFC | +1200
  • To win Super Bowl | +2500
  • To make playoffs | Yes -120/ No +150

Colts Offense

The Colts offense will have a new look this season with veteran quarterback Matt Ryan under center. Ryan is an upgrade over Carson Wentz and should pair nicely with Taylor in the backfield. Taylor led the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns last season, and it appears to be only a matter of time before he wins an MVP for Indy.

2022 NFL Preview: Indianapolis Colts
Mike Ehrmann / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The Colts upgraded their line, and if Ryan can limit turnovers, this offense could be one of the best in the AFC. Ryan has a shot to be the Comeback Player of the Year while wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. is poised for a breakout season. Rooke Alex Pierce should fit in nicely and provide this offense with a second option behind Pittman. All in all, things are looking up in Indy regarding the offense.

Player to Watch: QB Matt Ryan

Colts Defense

The Colts defense is more of a question mark heading into 2022 in the wake of Matt Eberflus’ departure as defensive coordinator. This squad finished the season with the eighth-best scoring defense in the NFL last season under Eberflus and may have difficulty repeating that success.

Gus Bradley was brought on as the new DC and is expected to create a much more aggressive defense in Indiana. This could fix Indianapolis’ issues with the pass rush and create more pressure in the pocket for opposing quarterbacks.

The Colts have pieces to build around with Pro Bowlers Darius Leonard and DeForest Buckner returning. Indianapolis brought in some help, too, by signing 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore. A shutdown corner, Gilmore fills a significant need that this defense has been lacking.

Player to Watch: LB Darius Leonard

Colts Team Strength

The Colts enter 2022 with a lot of positive attributes on offense. The biggest one is MVP candidate Taylor, who is poised to lead the league in rushing yet again. With a better QB and upgraded line, the Colts’ offense could surprise many by finishing among the best in the NFL.

The Colts are also strong on special teams, with Pro Bowl long snapper Luke Rhodes and kicker Rodrigo Blankenship poised for a good year.

Colts Team Weakness

The only thing holding the Colts back with Wentz gone is the holes left in their defense. Indy has the pieces to build around, but it remains to be seen whether the work they did in the offseason was effective.

They managed to sign Gilmore, which takes care of what was perhaps their biggest flaw on defense. The Colts allowed the 19th-most passing yards in the league last season and will need to do better if they hope to compete for an AFC title.

Colts Forecast

The Colts fall into the boom or bust category heading into 2022. If Ryan is an upgrade over Wentz, then an already dangerous offense just got a lot better. Their defense may be the only thing preventing the Colts from being one of the front-runners in the AFC. Their pass rush and secondary need improving, but Indy seems to have addressed those issues. The Colts should finish with the best record in the AFC South, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see them make a run at it all with a rejuvenated Ryan under center.

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